Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Checking a claim on Facebook about bank bonuses

This Facebook post sounded too good to be true. It was.
This Facebook post sounded too good to be true. It was.

As anger continues to bubble over big banks and the compensation they give their top employees, a Facebook post is circulating that offers a striking claim:

It said: "Bank of America could create 878,300 jobs with benefits if they spent their 2010 bonuses on job creation."

The problem with the statistic is that the calculation was based on a number that counted more than just bankers’ bonuses -- it referred to all forms of compensation paid by the company (salaries, benefits and bonuses) to every employee of Bank of America. That means it included compensation paid to executives, tellers, janitors and anyone else you can imagine who works for BofA.

Using an estimate of how much the company’s investment banking arm paid out in bonuses would instead create 110,000 jobs -- only one-eighth number claimed in the post. So we rated the claim Pants on Fire.